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New Year's Day 2017 (Isaiah 60:1-6, Ephesians 3:1-12, Matthew 2:13-23)

Colin ThompsonColin Thompson, Sunday, 1st January 2017

Isaiah 60:1-6

1"Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of Yahweh is risen on you. 2For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples; but Yahweh will arise on you, and his glory shall be seen on you. 3Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. 4"Lift up your eyes all around, and see: they all gather themselves together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far, and your daughters shall be carried in the arms. 5Then you shall see and be radiant, and your heart shall thrill and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. 6The multitude of camels shall cover you, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praises of Yahweh. (WEB)

Ephesians 3:1-12

1For this cause I, Paul, am the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles, 2if it is so that you have heard of the administration of that grace of God which was given me toward you; 3how that by revelation the mystery was made known to me, as I wrote before in few words, 4by which, when you read, you can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ; 5which in other generations was not made known to the children of men, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; 6that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of his promise in Christ Jesus through the Good News, 7of which I was made a servant, according to the gift of that grace of God which was given me according to the working of his power. 8To me, the very least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9and to make all men see what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10to the intent that now through the assembly the manifold wisdom of God might be made known to the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places, 11according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord; 12in whom we have boldness and access in confidence through our faith in him. (WEB)

Matthew 2:13-23

13Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him." 14He arose and took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt, 15and was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called my son." 16Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the wise men, was exceedingly angry, and sent out, and killed all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all the surrounding countryside, from two years old and under, according to the exact time which he had learned from the wise men. 17Then that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying, 18"A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; she wouldn't be comforted, because they are no more." 19But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, 20"Arise and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel, for those who sought the young child's life are dead." 21He arose and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in the place of his father, Herod, he was afraid to go there. Being warned in a dream, he withdrew into the region of Galilee, 23and came and lived in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene." (WEB)

About Colin Thompson: Revd Dr Colin Thompson is Associate Minister of Wheatley URC and Emeritus Fellow, St Catherine's College, Oxford.

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